External (Linux-only) Hard Drive Recommendation

I’d like to purchase an external usb drive for back-ups that will solely be for Linux. (And hence formatted as such). 500gb would perhaps be ideal. I do have a Maxtor 320Gb unit, but it’s always been ntfs.

Does anyone have any experience of drives that work well as linux-only backup devices? My plan would be to just be able to plug it in, and then run grsync. Quick, simple, easy.

Well, as far as I know, any usb-drive should work just fine. I myself have few LaCie drives which haven’t given any problems thus far. Since you’re planning to use it as Linux only you can reformat it to use, e.g., ext2/3 so file permissions, owners and such are preserved if you need that…

I just use whatever my wholesaler has at a good price. Never found a problem, sata or pata both work for me. I like to stick an extra 500 drive in a usb case – works OK too, but they say that’s a bit slower than attaching to the motherboard, can’t say that I’ve been aware of a performance hit though.

Whatever you decide on I would suggest you DO NOT get anything from the Seagate FreeAgent line unless you’re willing to do some work that may or may not work:

Seagate releases workaround for Linux users - The INQUIRER

I made the mistake of buying one of these drives on impulse based on the price but it took several weeks of researching and applying work-arounds and finally reformatting before I could get it to work with openSuSE 10.2. It was only after studying the threads and help I found at:

SuSE Linux Forums (Powered by Invision Power Board) and


not to mention

Swerdna au - Home: Welcome to SwerdnaNet

that turned it from paper weight status into a functional HDD (my eternal thanks!)